Sponsored annually by the Ontario Library Association, the Red Maple Award reading program is geared to readers in Grade 7 and 8. Ten novels are nominated each year and ten non-fiction are selected every second year.
Alina in a Pinch by Shenaaz NanjiMoving to a new city means Alina has to make new friends, and nothing is worse than lunch at a new school. When her grandmother visits, Alina is inspired to help her cook the delicious Afro-Indian meals she's always loved, but a cruel note from a mysterious lunchtime bully leaves a bitter taste that even Nani's excellent cooking can't erase. With an audition for Junior Chef fast approaching and Nani's wise lessons helping her, can Alina embrace her heritage and convince her classmates that being different is a good thing?
Bear in the Family by Eric Walters; Olga Barinova (Illustrator)★"A profound, realistic story of a multiracial family...This brilliantly written tale is a lovely introduction to the important topics of wildfires and animal sanctuaries for young readers. Great for animal lovers and children curious about nature."--School Library Journal, starred review On returning to their home after a massive wildfire, nine-year-old Jasmin and her seven-year-old brother, Hunter, thought the biggest surprise would be whether their fire-resistant house had survived. Jasmin and Hunter did not expect to find an orphaned bear cub stuck in the neighbors' well. Rescuing the tiny cub from the well was the easy part; now they need to care for it until the people from the bear-rescue sanctuary can make it safely through the fires to pick it up. The cub turns out to be exactly what one would expect of a wild animal--a huge handful! The latest Orca Echoes early chapter book from award-winning author Eric Walters was inspired by Eric's visit to a wildlife sanctuary in Northern British Columbia. Bear in the Family tells the fictionalized story of a bear cub found by a family after the forest surrounding their home was destroyed by a wildfire.
Crimson Twill: Witch in the City by Kallie George; Birgitta Sif (Illustrator)A little witch with a penchant for bright colors and bows has a surprising big-city shopping adventure in the first book of an illustrated series filled with offbeat charm. Crimson Twill is a little witch, but you might not know it. She lives in the country and loves polka dots and puppies instead of pointy shoes and black dresses. She even wears a big bow on her hat--which is crimson, just like her name. Tonight, for the very first time, Crimson is riding on her mother's broom all the way to New Wart City to go shopping at Broomingdale's! The huge department store has everything a witch could itch for. For Crimson, each floor (hats! cats! brooms!) is a new adventure. But is Broomingdale's ready for a witch as unique as Crimson? A rich and playful new world comes to life in the first book of this charming series.
Flipping Forward Twisting Backward by Alma FullertonA diagnosis of dyslexia could change everything for an aspiring fifth-grade gymnast struggling at school in this authentic, high-energy novel in verse. The print edition of this title is set in a font developed to be easy to read. The gym is where Claire shines and she's on her way to qualifying for the state championships. But at school, she's known as a troublemaker--which is fine with her since it helps her hide her reading problem. Claire has never been able to make sense of the wobbling jumble of letters on a page. When a sympathetic principal wonders if she's acting out because she may have dyslexia, she's stunned. Claire has always assumed she's dumb, so she's eager to get evaluated. But her mother balks. Afraid Claire will be labeled "stupid," she refuses testing. Can Claire take on both her reading challenges and her mother's denial? Is it worth jeopardizing her dream of the state championships? Told in clear and poignant verse and featuring black and white illustrations, Claire's struggle with something that seems to come easily to everyone else will resonate with readers and have them cheering her on.
Kaleidoscope of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Life: Their Colors and Patterns Explained by Greer StothersA richly detailed and vibrantly illustrated natural history book, this fascinating read is bursting with colour and will show you dinosaurs like never before. Discover cutting-edge theories on feathered dinosaurs, the colourful secrets of the fossil record, and what million-year-old remains tell us about how extinct animals lived and looked. Palaeo-artist and author Greer Stothers reimagines the dinosaurs and their prehistoric peers, using fossils and the examples of living species to bring this often misrepresented world to lif
Pink, Blue, and You! by Elise Gravel; Mykaell BlaisSimple, accessible, and direct, this picture book is perfect for kids and parents or teachers to read together, opening the door to conversations about gender stereotypes and everyone's right to be their true selves. Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping. With its simple language, colorful illustrations, engaging backmatter that showcases how "appropriate" male and female fashion has changed through history, and even a poster kids can hang on their wall, here is the ideal tool to help in conversations about a multi-layered and important topic.
The Strangest Thing in the Sea by Rachel Poliquin; Byron Eggenschwiler (Illustrator)An intriguing look at some very strange creatures in the sea --- but which is the strangest? A feathery tutu dancing through the water? A tiptoeing rock wearing a wig? A mountain of skulls on the ocean floor? Not everything is quite as it seems in this fascinating exploration of 12 bizarre and little-known sea animals. Each creature is introduced with an imaginative first-person depiction of its appearance, accompanied by an artistic interpretation and the question, "Am I the strangest thing in the sea?" Then, open the gatefold, and an illustration and full description of the actual creature in its habitat are revealed, along with the tantalizing answer that, no, this is not the strangest thing in the sea. That is, until the last creature, which is the strangest. But what could it be? The question-and-answer approach and gatefolds in this innovative and engaging book of wonderfully weird sea creatures are sure to pique children's curiosity and encourage scientific inquiry. Rachel Poliquin has included a range of the very oddest sea creatures --- the yeti crab, goblin shark and vampire squid, to name a few --- and she provides unique, interesting and quirky information about each as well as their size, prey, habitat and depth. Award-winning illustrator Byron Eggenschwiler's beautiful art gives the entire book an otherworldly feel, as all the creatures seem to be fantastically imagined. The material aligns with elementary life sciences curriculum: animal adaptations and characteristics, evolution, ecology, habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity and food webs. A final gatefold shows all the creatures together. Includes a glossary.
Tâpwê and the Magic Hat by Buffy Sainte-Marie; Michelle Alynn Clement (Illustrator)"Beautiful, poignant and poetic. This story will weave its way into the hearts and minds of readers for generations." --Monique Gray Smith, author of My Heart Fills With Happiness From beloved Indigenous icon Buffy Sainte-Marie comes a chapter book inspired by oral histories and traditions. On a prairie reserve, Tâpwê receives a mysterious gift from Kokhom (grandma)--and finds himself on an unforgettable adventure. Tâpwê can't wait to spend a week with his cousins on the other side of the Cree reserve--especially since Kokhom, his grandma, has given him the most amazing gift: a Magic Hat with bluebirds and grass snakes that come to life! Tâpwê is so excited that he soon forgets Kokhom's advice: Watch out for tricksters! Tâpwê's adventure is everything he imagined. He meets his cousins, takes part in a powwow, and sleeps in a tipi. But soon he's reminded of Kokhom's words. Is his new friend Wâpos leading him astray with mischief? Tâpwê and the Magic Hat draws on a rich Indigenous tradition of storytelling and features: A memorable cast of characters from both imagination and legend. A glossary and pronunciation guide of Cree words used in the book. A note to parents and teachers from Buffy Sainte-Marie about trickster stories. An important message for young readers about being yourself, and learning to dance to the beat of your own heart. Features black and white illustrations throughout.
This Is What I've Been Told by Juliana Armstrong (Illustrator)It's been said when teachings are passed down from one generation to the next, good things can happen. Language is learned, knowledge is shared, and culture is practiced. In this story of language preservation, Author/Illustrator and Anishnaabemowin language teacher Juliana Armstrong illuminates a number of Anishnaabemowin words along with their cultural connections, passed down from her Ojibway ancestors.
Who's Looking? by Carol Matas; Cornelia Li (Illustrator)★"In this delightfully original nonfiction picture book... the readable text offers understandable science, while the engaging illustrations promote careful investigation. A valuable addition to science and nature collections. Highly recommended."--School Library Journal, starred review How do animals see the world? It turns out, verydifferently. In this nonfiction picture book, a young girl and her baby sister's outdoor adventure (hiking through the forest, picnicking in the grass and swimming in the ocean) is overseen by the local fauna. The way those animals view the girls is very different from how the girls see each other. Goats see far and wide in a panorama, whales don't see color the way humans do and a high-soaring eagle's sharp vision can clearly see a tiny mouse far below. Through clever illustrations and scientific prose, we are reminded that while we may see things differently, we all share this life together on planet Earth.